Brand Messaging: Learn the Ways of the Force from Grand Master Yoda!
Messaging to a brand is like the Force is to a Jedi. It is the energy controlled by a brand. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the brand and the customer together. Defining your brand’s message is a critical step for all marketers to take if they are to connect to their audience and deliver true value to their customer. No one understands this more than Yoda, the great orator of the Force.
You too must learn the ways of the Force, err messaging, if you are to deliver your brand into the promised land. Read further to discover how some of Yoda’s most powerful philosophies apply to your messaging, and if executed correctly, how it can give you the ultimate power in the universe.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
This is one of the most important lessons to learn from the great Jedi Master. You likely won’t ever be tasked to lift a spacecraft with your mind, but you will often find yourself facing the challenge of creating messaging that will resonate with customers. Here is where the fear of failure stifles your courage and undermines your success with self-doubt.
Doubt in your brand messaging stems from a lack of understanding who you are, the goal you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and the values you will hold true along the way. Defining these core tenants of your brand foundation will give meaning to your messaging. It becomes more than just words on a page, now they have purpose, vision, and ethos.
Creating this kind of backbone for your brand will give you clarity and confidence in your messaging.
“Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny.”
This statement relates to your brand’s values. These are the truths that direct your brand’s behavior. The simple rules that guide your decision making, and keep you on the light side of the Force when times are tough.
Every brand will face an unforeseen obstacle from time to time. In many cases these will not be pretty or fun issues to address. Yet your messaging, if delivered honest and true, can be your greatest defense against the Sith. Yoda advises against rationalizing your moral code, or cutting ethical corners. “This is the path to the darkside.” If you compromise your standards out of fear or anger, your audience will see right through it, and things will get ugly for your brand.
Your messaging must always hold true to your brand’s core values. This is the only way to remain genuine and avoid false sincerity in the face of adversity.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
When Luke is in doubt, questioning the Force, his master, and himself Yoda breaks out the nugget of advice. And yes, it too holds true for your messaging.
As marketers one of the first lessons you learn is to tell a story. This is how we talk about our values, or solutions, and our goals. The assumption is the story to deliver all these tidbits is your brand’s story, right? Wrong. While storytelling in your messaging is critical, your brand is not the hero. Your customer is.
Your audience gives zero Wamp rat farts how impressive you say you are, they care about how you can make their life better. Your brand story is not about your brand, it is about proving your brand is capable of improving your customer’s life. It should be their story, the challenges they face, and your brand’s role in that story is the mystical force that helps your customer get a little closer to achieving their goals.
“Judge me by my size, do you?”
Over Yoda’s 900 years, the tiny Jedi bested the dark side on many occasions but never because he was the biggest or the strongest. It was his quick wit and sharp tongue that often cut deeper than any lightsaber ever could.
Yoda’s lesson here is size doesn’t matter. You don’t need to write a novel to get your message out there. Brevity is the key. So keep it short and simple if you want to deliver a powerful message your audience will relate too.
Don’t try and say too many things at once. Get to the point with one clear statement, then reinforce that message with supporting data and insights. This structure will create value for your audience, and help you avoid complicated messaging that confuses them.
“That is why you fail.”
Luke, breathless and exhausted from his force training, expresses his disbelief after the little green Jedi raises the X-wing from the Dagobah swamp. Yoda responds to Luke’s lack of faith with the famous line.
Every brand is built upon many messaging statements. One of which is your Reason to Believe. This is the plain truth supporting your claims, and what gives your customer the confidence you can deliver what you promise. Always focus on what you truly believe your brand can deliver, this is the trick to being “genuine.”
If you don’t believe in what you write, your audience won’t believe it either. If you try to fake it, your audience will see right through your Bantha fodder. Seek out the truth when you write about your brand, and your customer will believe. Do not, and well… that is why you fail.
“Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.”
In a galaxy far far away the Force is the brand, Yoda is the marketer delivering the message, and characters like Luke, Anakin, and Rey are the target customers. As marketers, we can apply all of Yoda's philosophies to our work every day. Now rewatch the Star Wars series and see how this little green Jedi is not only the master of the Force but also the master of messaging its brand.
May the 4th be with you.
“Pass on what you have learned.”
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